wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

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wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Thomas » Sun Sep 23, 2007 2:40 pm

Couldn't figure out a good title for this thread.

Has anyone advice for taking a few bottles of wine from the U.S. into Europe and the reverse?

I'm not asking about declaring at customs. That I know.

My plan is to put the wine into the luggage, but I don't know if the securitoes scan luggage and dig deeper if liquid is in it and, who knows?, steal things...
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Robin Garr » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:18 pm

Thomas wrote:Couldn't figure out a good title for this thread.

Has anyone advice for taking a few bottles of wine from the U.S. into Europe and the reverse?

I'm not asking about declaring at customs. That I know.

My plan is to put the wine into the luggage, but I don't know if the securitoes scan luggage and dig deeper if liquid is in it and, who knows?, steal things...


You know about Customs. I can tell you from a fair amount of personal experience, both domestic and trans-Atlantic, that TSA has no problem with liquids in checked baggage. I haven't had any problems with loss or damage, and no indication that TSA is even more likely to open your bags and look in if they see wine bottles. Obviously careful packing with lots of padding is very important, but I wouldn't worry about loss, at least not any more than you worry about losing your whole bag of course.
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Bill Hooper » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:29 pm

I always bring wine back in my luggage. My record is 37 bottles (distributed evenly to keep south of weight restrictions.) I always declare them and never pay a cent (I'm either lucky or customs has bigger fish to fry.) I've never brought wine TO Europe though. Seems counter-productive...
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:40 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:My record is 37 bottles (distributed evenly to keep south of weight restrictions.)...


37 bottles in two checked bags?

Wow. That must have been under the old 75lb international weight limits?

Now it seems to be down to 50lbs per bag for most companies.

But still, impressive record. I take it you didn't have many other items like pesky clothing or shoes in the bags..
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Bob Ross » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:44 pm

Thomas, no problems either going or coming back this summer -- three bottles going, six bottles coming back. My flights were Newark/Amsterdam/Copenhagen and Stockholm/Copenhagen/Newark.
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Bill Hooper » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:50 pm

Rahsaan wrote:
Bill Hooper wrote:My record is 37 bottles (distributed evenly to keep south of weight restrictions.)...


37 bottles in two checked bags?

Wow. That must have been under the old 75lb international weight limits?

Now it seems to be down to 50lbs per bag for most companies.

But still, impressive record. I take it you didn't have many other items like pesky clothing or shoes in the bags..


It was more like 4 suitcases, maybe 5 (My wife contributed some space, as did my son -who will hopefully benefit when he's old enough). We actually had to leave a couple of bottles behind at my in-laws in Germany. I generally pack pretty light as is, but we were down to the kilo on that occasion.
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Dale Williams » Sun Sep 23, 2007 3:51 pm

No problems coming back from France. Obviously you need good styro shippers. I'd actually guess theft from baggage is less of a threat on international flights than domestic, due to more restrictions on baggage handling areas.

Rahsaan, indeed most are 50 lb now. But you can go to 70 if you pay overweight fee ($25 on Continental). Over 70 is a straight no-go. We spent a while Friday having David (stepson) weigh himself and then handing him bag. Got it down to 69.5 (and told him in case airport scale was different, pull out clothing and wear layers). Going away to college, but one of his luggage pieces had to be guitar (I at least got him to line case with small clothing).
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Ian Sutton » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:28 pm

Yet to have a breakage putting wines in hold luggage.

Two options:
1) Styrofoam (moulded) packers - seem the safest option, but a little bulky. IMO best used to send it through in matching cardboard box, well taped up.

2) Bubble-wrap - effective so far and allows you to put the bottles in with main luggage. Also a good idea to use clothes to give extra padding. Bear in mind that this has worked fine for me with rucksacks - typically given the roughest treatment by luggage staff from what I hear.

Beware of some quite low baggage limits - especially on the budget airlines in europe (Ryanair's 15kg is not unusual ~ 33lbs, with up to 10kg cabin allowance). Ryanair charge €8 per kilo over this, so costs can mount up.


[Edit - it seems there are some traditional Irish experiences on offer with Ryanair - I saw this when checking the baggage costs:
http://www.ryanair.com/site/EN/inpage.p ... NFLIGHTTCS

but to save people following the link, the title says 'Free Fight Offer Inflight' :lol: ]

Going anywhere nice?

regards

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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Thomas » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:57 pm

Thanks all.

Got the answer I need, and then some--37 bottles indeed...

I've got the wines in styrofoam buffered by rolled up clothing, so I'm not worried about breakage--much.

The last time I came back from Europe I was spot checked in Paris, for the second time in Paris (I think they check guys with beards).

Anyway, they made me open my luggage for inspection and the neatly packed wine was un-neatly repacked. When I got to Newark I saw the red stains as my baggage rumbled along the conveyor. Of course, only the red wine bottles broke. Ruined five shirts and a pair of pants, not to mention the Samsonite.

Bill, I'm in the Finger Lakes and I'm going to Piemonte. Someone there wants to taste the Rieslings from here. I am an ambassador...

Robin, I worry less about lost baggage on non-stop flights to Europe than I do on those damned domestic hub flights, not that the non-stops are fool-proofed, just less so. I hope!

Speaking of domestic airlines, I just learned that Robert Crandall, the old CEO on American Airlines, begged congress not to deregulate the airline industry. He said, in the 1980s, that it would cause major failures in the industry, as well as decreasing services and higher prices. Why don't politicians listen to anything but their own hot winds?
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Rahsaan » Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:59 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:It was more like 4 suitcases, maybe 5 (My wife contributed some space, as did my son -who will hopefully benefit when he's old enough)..


Ok, that makes sense..

I've been able to convince my girlfriend to bring one or two bottles, but she usually packs heavier than I do..
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Sun Sep 23, 2007 8:34 pm

My record from London is 18 bottles in 3 suitcases!!! Bubble wrapped, no problem. At customs here, I had my usual diversonary tactit. Opened up my Munster cheese and smoked cods roe, they let me go without any other questions.
The lady in front of me had vials of earth, 8 of them (all confiscated). I thought that was a good wheez!! Wonder what she was hiding?
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Michael K » Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:19 pm

Thomas,

One more thing that I do nowadays due to the spot checking is to have a space roll of tape with me so that I can properly reseal versus the flimsy stuff they have behind their desk. Also, I buy a roll of bubble wrap and stick it in the open hole and then use that to wrap the wine in prior to putting it in the styrofoam shipper if the bottle is too small and will move around.

Have a great trip!!

BTW< just opened a bottle of the Glenora Gwertz tonight and a lovely bottle it was :)
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Steve Guattery » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:03 am

Thomas wrote:Bill, I'm in the Finger Lakes and I'm going to Piemonte. Someone there wants to taste the Rieslings from here. I am an ambassador...


Thomas, do you mind telling which wines/vintages you are taking?
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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Paul Winalski » Mon Sep 24, 2007 2:04 am

My mother had black opal earrings stolen from her by US customs agents in Bermuda. They said that they had to take her handbag (which contained the earrings) for further searching. Later she discovered that the earrings were missing when the handbag was returned. This was years before 9/11 and the existence of TSA.

So yes, customs or security agents CAN and DO steal stuff. If you're really concerned about this, ship your goods via an insured carrier such as FedEx.

All this being said, I've shipped wine in checked-in baggage for the six post-9/11 years. Several times the baggage arrives at its destination with tags or seals indicating that TSA have opened the luggage and inspected the contents. The wine, and other contents of the luggage, have always arrived intact, complete, and undamaged. I'd not have known they'd been searched had it not been for the tags or seals telling me so.

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Re: wine, airplanes, bioterrroism

Postby Thomas » Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:23 am

Steve Guattery wrote:
Thomas wrote:Bill, I'm in the Finger Lakes and I'm going to Piemonte. Someone there wants to taste the Rieslings from here. I am an ambassador...


Thomas, do you mind telling which wines/vintages you are taking?


All 06, Steve, all dry.

Prejean, Wiemer, Ravines (the last because the winemaker is Danish and the guy in Piemonte is also Danish).
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